Peering above the Rainforest

We woke up and gathered at 4am in a bid to catch the sun rising above the rainforest. The canopy walk was one of the highlights of the Brunei trip that I was looking forward to.

We took a longboat upstream to the beginning of the trekking route. It’s pre-dawn in a rainforest and we climbed up endless stairs in the darkness, allowing only our panting breaths to fill the air. The trail is steep with never ending stairs (about 1200) but our guide, Tom, paced us well and most of us in the group had a moderate fitness level.

Finally, we were at the base of this towering monster steel structure with simple metal ladders that paved the way to the top. I was excited to be up there to catch the first rays of light so I volunteered to climb up first. The 50m-high metal cage appears to be little more than makeshift scaffolding, and with only six discrete steel cables supporting the structure, the sway of the platform is quite noticeable, even in a gentle breeze. There can only be a maximum of 5 persons on the metal cage at any one time and only 2 persons are allowed on the bridges above so we carefully spaced ourselves out as we climbed from area to area.

Even before reaching the very top, I was rewarded with peeks of beautiful sun rays through the gaping holes of the tallest trees.

In no time, I reached the first metal bridge, but this was not the highest point yet.

I tried to spot who was still at the bottom preparing for the climb up and it was hard to make out the little dots. After waiting around for my turn, I was ready to head all the way up to the tallest point.

From the base of the canopy to the very top is 610 steps and it’ll put you a happy 60m off the ground. It’s a little challenging for those who have a fear of vertical heights but that just wasn’t how I was made.

The scene at the top was breathtaking and worth every inch of that climb. It was as if you were walking on the clouds above the towering trees.

Looking down you’ll see 50,000 hectares of pristine rainforest at your feet. It’s a wonderful feeling that neither this post nor the photos does any justice to. It has be be experienced first hand.

The air was so fresh and truly, you can feel how nature is a gift from the heavens. No man made building or object can bring that happy skip in your heart compared to the rising sun waking the forest up ever so slowly. All around, the jungle was awakening and this precious land that has been untouched by man for hundreds of years, continues its circle of life.

While I was alone at the top, in awe by the magnificent view all around me, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Suddenly life became simple and I feel reconnected to nature and to my core. The chasing of wealth, time, and material possessions didn’t matter.  It was just contentment felt between the work of God and the blessings he has showered upon me.

I look down to see all the other members in my group getting excited with the climb and the view and I knew that they too realized how blessed they are. Sometimes the beauty of nature does that to you. It jolts you from your lists of things-to-do, things-to-buy and things-to-have and shows you that everything you truly need, God has provided. You just need to realize it.

That hike marked the end of my stay at Ulu Ulu Resort but I bring with me many memories and learnings of my rainforest experience that has made an impact to my thoughts.

Thank you OMY, Brunei Tourism and Royal Brunei Airlines  for making this trip possible.

If you would like to know Brunei better or check out more Royal Brunei Airlines promotions, check out their Facebook page.

PS: I have a couple of photos that I’ve put up in this post without my usual watermark as these photos are used courtesy of Rui Long of OMY.sg

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